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MLB notebook: Pirates fans are enjoying the ride

Associated Press

Pittsburgh is embracing the playoff-bound Pirates.

Postseason merchandise flew off the shelves at the team’s store inside PNC Park on Tuesday, hours after the Pirates clinched their first playoff berth since 1992. The 2-1 victory over the Cubs was sweet validation for a fan base that hasn’t seen a winning season since George H.W. Bush was president.

At a time of year when the city’s attention usually turns to the Steelers, the Pirates are the ones generating headlines. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin even sent a congratulatory message to Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, urging Hurdle and the Pirates to ride their momentum all the way to the World Series.

Pittsburgh hasn’t won it all since 1979. After such a long drought, fans say they’re just trying to enjoy the ride.

Machado gets break in knee injury

Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado got some good news: He has a torn ligament in his left knee and could be running again in six to eight weeks, because his ACL and MCL ligaments are fine.

An MRI on Tuesday revealed Machado has a torn medial patellofemoral ligament. The Orioles hope he can recover without having surgery.

The injury occurred Monday during Baltimore’s game at Tampa Bay. Machado was running out a single and stepped awkwardly on the inside of the base. He tumbled to the ground and had to be taken off the field on a stretcher.

The Orioles feared Machado tore his ACL, which would have kept him sidelined into the 2014 season.

White Sox infielder to have surgery

Chicago White Sox infielder Jeff Keppinger will have season-ending surgery on his right shoulder.

Keppinger will have the operation Thursday in Chicago, manager Robin Ventura said before the White Sox opened a two-game series against the Indians.

Keppinger has been playing with discomfort in his shoulder since spring training. He batted .253 with four homers and 40 RBI in 117 games, primarily playing second and third base. Ventura said the injury affected Keppinger’s throwing more than his hitting.

Ventura said the decision to have the surgery before the season ended was so Keppinger can begin a rehab program immediately and be ready for spring training. He signed a three-year contract in December.


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